Dunder Mifflin, beet wine and ToM

I so admire creative people, those who are unhindered by inexperience to try something new. For example, my neighbor Mary.

Mary's twin boys are now grown up, but when they were young and active on the street, Mary would come up with kid activities during adult functions, like having bike contests during our block parties (complete with prizes) so the children would be occupied. We live on a fantastic cul-de-sac and have had wine-and-appetizer neighborhood parties, giving us a chance to catch up with each other (and yes, I know it's the Goldsworthys turn to host). Mary brought all the makings for wine charms at one of the get togethers so we would all have a means to track our glasses. She just knows how to enrich any event.

Mary is an aficionado of TV's “The Office.” She joined a chat group that is comprised of fans of the show.

So, it wasn't surprising to learn that rather than just idly chatting online, the group got together at Mary's house where she presented each guest with a copy of the Dunder Mifflin cookbook, a compilation she had created.

While some of the “recipes” are questionable (I think there might be road kill in one recipe attributed to Dwight Schrute), some are intriguing.

One treat that Mary offered me was a glass of beet wine. I don't like beets. I was, therefore, a little hesitant to try Mary's bathtub brew. But, being a wine lover and a good neighbor, I put aside my hesitancy and took a sip.

It wasn't bad.

If I have to consume vegetables, particularly beets, this would be the way to go.

If you want more information about the Dunder Mifflin cookbook, let me know. I'll forward any questions to Mary.

And speaking of exploring new tastes, this Sunday is the second annual Taste of Montrose benefitting Crescenta Valley High School's Prom Plus committee.

I've been associated with Prom Plus since 1999. It was started in the early '90s after a CVHS senior was murdered at an unsupervised post-prom hotel party. Her death galvanized the community into creating a fun, yet safe, after prom event for CVHS seniors and their guests. Prom Plus doesn't cost prom attendees anything — it's included with the purchase of their prom ticket — and for those seniors who don't go to prom, but want to attend Prom Plus, they pay just $20 at the door.

Prom Plus is held at the YMCA and offers a lot for attendees to do. The event costs over $20,000 to put on and the money is raised from fundraisers held throughout the year. One of these is Sunday's Taste of Montrose.

We are so lucky to be a part of a town that is evolving into a true dining destination. I hope that many in our community will plunk down the $20 for the cost of a ticket and enjoy a taste of many of our local establishments. Those participating include Fratellis, Masis Bakery, Cool Factory, New Moon, Slender Sweet Shoppe, Rocky Cola, Quiznos, Java Brew, Zeke's, Café Montrose, Pepe's, 3 Drunken Goats, Ocean View Bar & Grill, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Outback Steakhouse, Dream Dinners, Frank's Famous, Berolina Bakery, Ingredients and Leo's All Star.

Tickets are available at the UPS stores in Montrose and La Crescenta, Merle Norman cosmetics on Honolulu Avenue, the chambers of commerce for Crescenta Valley and Montrose-Verdugo City, the high school, the offices of the Valley Sun, and Dream Dinners.

I hope to see you there.

ROBIN GOLDSWORTHY is city editor. Call her at (818) 790-8774, or e-mail robin.goldsworthy@latimes.com

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